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Iannolo G.,Regenerative Medicine and Biomedical Technologies Unit | Iannolo G.,Mediterranean Institute of Oncology IOM | Iannolo G.,Mediterranean Institute for Transplantation and Advanced Specialized Therapies IRCCS ISMETT | Sciuto M.R.,Mediterranean Institute of Oncology IOM | And 8 more authors.
Cell Transplantation | Year: 2016

The epidermis is a stratified epithelium with a stem cell subpopulation in the basal layer that constantly replicates and periodically detaches from the base, undergoing a differentiation process that involves various developmental signals and regulatory pathways. During the last 10 years, a number of studies tried to elucidate the intricate scenario that maintains the epithelial shield during the entire life span. In our study, we investigated the role of Numb in the skin compartment and, in particular, its involvement in stem cell maintenance. Numb expression in the skin compartment was assessed by immunofluorescence and immunohistochemistry analysis. We evaluated Numb expression in primary epithelial cells at various differentiative stages. Moreover, we overexpressed Numb in the isolated population enriched for undifferentiated progenitors to establish its involvement in in vitro differentiation. We demonstrated that Numb in high-proliferating epithelial undifferentiated progenitors contributes to the maintenance of an undifferentiated state. This regulation involves the E3 ligases Itch binding. Moreover, the analysis of a cohort of cutaneous carcinomas showed that Numb is highly expressed in squamous cell carcinoma (SCC), where we observed a direct correlation between the expression of Numb and Ki-67. Our data indicate for the first time that Numb is involved in the maintenance of the undifferentiated proliferating stem cell pool in the epithelial basal layer and its expression could become a new marker in skin cancer. © 2016 Cognizant, LLC.


Chinnici C.M.,Regenerative Medicine and Biomedical Technologies Unit | Amico G.,Regenerative Medicine and Biomedical Technologies Unit | Monti M.,University of Milan | Motta S.,University of Milan | And 7 more authors.
Cell Transplantation | Year: 2014

We report that cells from human fetal dermis, termed here multipotent fetal dermal cells, can be isolated with high efficiency by using a nonenzymatic, cell outgrowth method. The resulting cell population was consistent with the definition of mesenchymal stromal cells by the International Society for Cellular Therapy. As multipotent fetal dermal cells proliferate extensively, with no loss of multilineage differentiation potential up to passage 25, they may be an ideal source for cell therapy to repair damaged tissues and organs. Multipotent fetal dermal cells were not recognized as targets by T lymphocytes in vitro, thus supporting their feasibility for allogenic transplantation. Moreover, the expansion protocol did not affect the normal phenotype and karyotype of cells. When compared with adult dermal cells, fetal cells displayed several advantages, including a greater cellular yield after isolation, the ability to proliferate longer, and the retention of differentiation potential. Interestingly, multipotent fetal dermal cells expressed the pluripotency marker SSEA4 (90.56 ± 3.15% fetal vs. 10.5 ± 8.5% adult) and coexpressed mesenchymal and epithelial markers (>80% CD90+/CK18+ cells), coexpression lacking in the adult counterparts isolated under the same conditions. Multipotent fetal dermal cells were able to form capillary structures, as well as differentiate into a simple epithelium in vitro, indicating skin regeneration capabilities. © 2014 Cognizant Comm. Corp.


Chinnici C.M.,Regenerative Medicine and Biomedical Technologies Unit | Timoneri F.,Regenerative Medicine and Biomedical Technologies Unit | Amico G.,Regenerative Medicine and Biomedical Technologies Unit | Pietrosi G.,Regenerative Medicine and Biomedical Technologies Unit | And 5 more authors.
Cell transplantation | Year: 2015

This study was designed to assess liver-specific functions of human fetal liver cells proposed as a potential source for hepatocyte transplantation. Fetal liver cells were isolated from livers of different gestational ages (16-22 weeks), and the functions of cell preparations were evaluated by establishing primary cultures. We observed that 20- to 22-week-gestation fetal liver cell cultures contained a predominance of cells with hepatocytic traits that did not divide in vitro but were functionally competent. Fetal hepatocytes performed liver-specific functions at levels comparable to those of their adult counterpart. Moreover, exposure to dexamethasone in combination with oncostatin M promptly induced further maturation of the cells through the acquisition of additional functions (i.e., ability to store glycogen and uptake of indocyanine green). In some cases, particularly in cultures obtained from fetuses of earlier gestational ages (16-18 weeks gestation), cells with mature hepatocytic traits proved to be sporadic, and the primary cultures were mainly populated by clusters of proliferating cells. Consequently, the values of liver-specific functions detected in these cultures were low. We observed that a low cell density culture system rapidly prompted loss of the mature hepatocytic phenotype with downregulations of all the liver-specific functions. We found that human fetal liver cells can be cryopreserved without significant loss of viability and function and evaluated up to 1 year in storage in liquid nitrogen. They might, therefore, be suitable for cell banking and allow for the transplantation of large numbers of cells, thus improving clinical outcomes. Overall, our results indicate that fetal hepatocytes could be used as a cell source for hepatocyte transplantation. Fetal liver cells have been used so far to treat end-stage liver disease. Additional studies are needed to include these cells in cell-based therapies aimed to treat liver failure and inborn errors of metabolism.


PubMed | Regenerative Medicine and Biomedical Technologies Unit
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Cell transplantation | Year: 2016

The epidermis is a stratified epithelium with a stem cell subpopulation in the basal layer that constantly replicates and periodically detaches from the base, undergoing a differentiation process that involves various developmental signals and regulatory pathways. During the last 10 years, a number of studies tried to elucidate the intricate scenario that maintains the epithelial shield during the entire life span. In our study, we investigated the role of Numb in the skin compartment and, in particular, its involvement in stem cell maintenance. Numb expression in the skin compartment was assessed by immunofluorescence and immunohistochemistry analysis. We evaluated Numb expression in primary epithelial cells at various differentiative stages. Moreover, we overexpressed Numb in the isolated population enriched for undifferentiated progenitors to establish its involvement in in vitro differentiation. We demonstrated that Numb in high-proliferating epithelial undifferentiated progenitors contributes to the maintenance of an undifferentiated state. This regulation involves the E3 ligases Itch binding. Moreover, the analysis of a cohort of cutaneous carcinomas showed that Numb is highly expressed in squamous cell carcinoma (SCC), where we observed a direct correlation between the expression of Numb and Ki-67. Our data indicate for the first time that Numb is involved in the maintenance of the undifferentiated proliferating stem cell pool in the epithelial basal layer and its expression could become a new marker in skin cancer.


PubMed | Regenerative Medicine and Biomedical Technologies Unit
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Cell transplantation | Year: 2014

We report that cells from human fetal dermis, termed here multipotent fetal dermal cells, can be isolated with high efficiency by using a nonenzymatic, cell outgrowth method. The resulting cell population was consistent with the definition of mesenchymal stromal cells by the International Society for Cellular Therapy. As multipotent fetal dermal cells proliferate extensively, with no loss of multilineage differentiation potential up to passage 25, they may be an ideal source for cell therapy to repair damaged tissues and organs. Multipotent fetal dermal cells were not recognized as targets by T lymphocytes in vitro, thus supporting their feasibility for allogenic transplantation. Moreover, the expansion protocol did not affect the normal phenotype and karyotype of cells. When compared with adult dermal cells, fetal cells displayed several advantages, including a greater cellular yield after isolation, the ability to proliferate longer, and the retention of differentiation potential. Interestingly, multipotent fetal dermal cells expressed the pluripotency marker SSEA4 (90.56 3.15% fetal vs. 10.5 8.5% adult) and coexpressed mesenchymal and epithelial markers (>80% CD90(+)/CK18(+) cells), coexpression lacking in the adult counterparts isolated under the same conditions. Multipotent fetal dermal cells were able to form capillary structures, as well as differentiate into a simple epithelium in vitro, indicating skin regeneration capabilities.


PubMed | Regenerative Medicine and Biomedical Technologies Unit and Mediterranean Institute for Transplantation and Advanced Specialized Therapies
Type: | Journal: Methods in molecular biology (Clifton, N.J.) | Year: 2016

In an era of organ shortage, human fetuses donated after medically indicated abortion could be considered a potential liver donor for hepatic cell isolation. We investigated transplantation of fetal liver cells as a strategy to support liver functionality in end-stage liver disease. Here, we report our protocol of human fetal liver cells (hFLC) isolation in fetuses from 17 to 22 gestational weeks, and our clinical procedure of hFLC transplantation through the splenic artery.

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